|By Tom Stoelker
Womb transplantation: If it can be done, should it? Is it unethical to exclude undocumented immigrants from the Affordable Care Act? Can a racist grandfather raise a biracial grandchild?
Tough questions to answer in any format, but are they too tough for a blog? Elizabeth Yuko, Ph.D., bioethicist and program administrator of the HIV Prevention Research Ethics Training Institute at the Center for Ethics Education, doesn’t think so.
Since starting at Fordham in the spring of 2013, Yuko helped launched the Ethics and Society blog with the encouragement and support of Celia Fisher, Ph.D., Marie Ward Doty Chair and professor of psychology and the center’s director.
“We really wanted to establish a blog to generate ethics dialogue within and outside the University and to provide greater access to the center’s many resources, including continuously updated ethics bibliographies, scales designed to measure ethical attitudes and moral reasoning, and videos and lectures from the HIV institute and annual center conferences,” said Fisher.
Blog contributors have included Fordham faculty and national and international scholars who approach bioethics from multiple perspectives including the humanities, sciences, and medicine. But Yuko said anyone who has an interest in ethics can contribute, whether their background is in business, law, media, or the arts and sciences.
“Ethics is such an interdisciplinary field. We’re hoping to attract a very large part of the global bioethics community,” she said.
Yuko is the supervising editor of Student Voices, a newly created section of the blog edited by students enrolled in the Masters in Ethics and Society Program and the newly established bioethics minor. This section will allow Fordham students “a chance to delve deeper into issues that they might not have time to explore in the classroom and to weigh in on the contemporary issues alongside experts,” she said.
Social justice remains at the foreground of every post, and both sides of an issue are always presented.
“We appreciate the fact that the Jesuit tradition allows and encourages this type of discourse,” Yuko said.
Posts aren’t regularly scheduled. The editors prefer quality to quantity, and although the format is casual, the tone isn’t.
“They’re opinion pieces that are backed by scholarship, so it’s not chatty,” said Fisher. “We ask students to incorporate references to facts and opinions from established academic and respected media publications.”
(Ed Note: On April 28 at 6 p.m. on the Lincoln Center campus, the center’s annual conference explores The Value of Liberal Arts Education and America’s Future.)